posted by the Vegan Husband

While trolling around on line for strange-but-true vegan facts like “Jesus was Vegan!” or  “Vegans at the Center of Crop Circle Mystery!”, I came across this news nugget: America has an obesity problem.

Not among vegans, but mostly everyone else.

Half of all teenagers are unable to zip up their pants.  And the other half don’t even wear pants because they’re inside playing video games all day.

But, thanks to McDonald’s, there is hope.   The Golden Arches have always been a bellwether when it comes to America’s eating habits.  Before McDonald’s, we ate hamburgers at a picnic table, medium-rare, and straight off the grill, not out of a microwave in a colorful cellophane wrapper.

We ate our eggs on a plate, not on a muffin.  A “happy meal” meant you had to let your belt out a notch in order to get up from the table.  And we didn’t need a plastic toy to go with it.

Yet now Mickie D’s is trending on the side of healthy.  You can buy a salad at McDonald’s.  Just as they gaveth the Super-Sized Meal, they taketh it away.  Later this year, in India, they will open their first vegetarian restaurant.  And if that wasn’t enough, they recently announced that they will begin publishing the calorie counts of all their menu items.

I applaud calorie counters.  Truly.  But if you’re counting calories, how likely is it that you’re doing it at McDonald’s?

Are you looking for tradeoffs?  Hmmm, should I go for the angus mushroom and swiss weighing in at 750 calories or the premium crispy chicken club at only 620?  The venerable Big Mac is a mere 550 calories.  I’m ashamed to admit I could once eat two Big Macs in one sitting.  With fries.  And a shake.  Pants optional.

In a recent article on Yahoo Finance, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman urged McDonald’s to go even further in the fight against obesity.  “If McDonald’s wanted to make a dent in obesity, they could do something better than posting calorie counts,” he said.  “What I say to them is: how about falafel?  How about hummus?  People know what this stuff is.”

Let me suggest a falafel burger with a side of hubbard squash.  We’ll call it the Un-Happy Meal.